It was The Most Insane of Times, It was the Most Grateful of Times

Last year, when TGS International, the publishing arm of Christian Aid Ministries, asked me about another book project, I declined. For one thing, I was pregnant. For another thing, I was in the mood to do something fun – publishing the Brady Street Boys Adventure Series. At my own leisurely pace.

That all held out well until I was asked to help with a book project about the group of missionaries kidnapped in Haiti.

I agreed to do it, which is why I have fallen off the face of the Internet from that time to this. Happily, I now have a 100,000 word manuscript and almost that many carry-out food orders behind me.

Yes, the number of carry-outs is an exaggeration. But it’s been pretty bad, up to and including tonight (as I write this). We put Anina to bed and were sitting in our chairs. I had been feeling a little grouchy.

“Well, I feel a little better now that I’ve done something irrational and unreasonable,” I told Marnell at 9pm. It was bedtime, except that I was planning to work on edits and Marnell was planning to remote into work, so who knew how many hours were left in the work day. When the baby is asleep, the work must go on!

“What did you do?” Marnell asked from his recliner. He sounded a little worried. It’s hard to blame him.

“Ordered a pizza.”

“You what?”

About 40 minutes later, a tall young man with dreadlocks arrived on our frosty porch and pulled a piping hot Spicy Lovers pizza from his insulated carrier.

So a little before ten, we sat down at the kitchen table and had a second supper. It was actually a very fun date, disregarding the calories.

Now that you know the state of my mind, I should say that despite the chaos, there are several reasons to give thanks.

First, the manuscript is now primarily in the hands of the editor, so I get to take an occasional breath. Hopefully we will have a completed book in a few months. For most people, it’s already kind of hard to remember what happened last fall. Now there’s a war on. Last year’s news is a fading memory to most people, so the sooner the book can share the story, the better.

Second, I felt a strong sense of past experiences assisting me in this project. To all you other creatives out there, I have a word. Never underestimate the value of a writing project to your future self. I didn’t love some of the books I wrote about disasters with many characters in them. But those hours of interviewing people came to my aid. In fact, at times this research felt easy compared to some of the things I’ve done in the past. The events were recent, and the witnesses had good memories.

Third, I was amazed at how each person I interviewed was eager to help. Maybe I was bracing for the person who would say, “Make sure you emphasize my viewpoint.” But I never ran into that person in my many hours of talking to former hostages, other missionaries, or administration. In fact, it was a complete privilege to be able to listen to so many stories of courage, humility, and trust in God.

Fourth, book three of the Brady Street Boys adventure series survived and is coming out next week. I almost lost Noise in the Night in the shuffle, but the designer, the illustrator, the proofreader, and the printer kicked it into the goal. I actually expect that book next week, so you can pre-order one today if you want.

Just a reminder, I do give more updates by email these days. I want to sit down and make a plan about how often I will blog going forward. The break has led me to realize it might be good for me to change some things up.

You should probably order the Spicy Lovers pizza tonight. It’s good. Although maybe it was partly the time and place and great company.

So sorry –the ordering link was broken before for you –should work now!

Note, I didn’t even bother to write “pre-order” on the product page. I expect the books to arrive shortly. They should ship out the week of March 7, 2022.

What is the Brady Street Boys series? Based on the fruit of the Spirit, it is expected to have 9 books. Trapped in the Tunnel is Book One. Here is the series description:

Terry, Gary and Larry Fitzpatrick live in northern Indiana along the St. Joseph River. President Reagan lives in the White House. Gasoline costs 90 cents a gallon. For families like the Fitzpatricks, computers and cell phones are still things of the future. The boys’ Christian parents teach them to pray and give them a project to learn the fruit of the Spirit. They help Gary navigate the pain of losing his leg and his firefighting dreams.

But having a wooden leg doesn’t keep Gary from adventures. With Terry the acrobat, and Larry the brain, Gary begins a quest to find an answer to the most important mystery of all.

What happened to the surgeon who amputated Gary’s leg, and has now disappeared?

7 thoughts on “It was The Most Insane of Times, It was the Most Grateful of Times”

  1. Rhoda Brubaker

    Katrina, thank you for the update. I have missed you. I can’t wait to read it. I want a copy when it is published!

  2. God bless all husbands who sit on recliners with worried looks.
    We give them interesting lives to balance out the angst.
    Keep calm & eat pizza. 😅

  3. Grace Leinbach

    And don’t forget that those 2 weeks or a month? that you spent in Haiti years ago probably also helped you. I can’t wait to read your book. When you were writing about the difficulties, I’m thinking, wouldn’t it be hard to write about a country you’ve never been to. And then I’m saying to myself, ” wake up! You’ve only read Blue Christmas about 10 times. Of course Katrina has been to Haiti.”
    While we were not directly involved, the kidnapping still greatly affected us all and threw us once more into the whirlpool of evacuate or stay where we have been so many times the last 2 years.
    Again, everyone here is greatly looking forward to reading your book.
    Grace for the MGM staff in Haiti

  4. Ahhh my children are delighted to hear the next book in the Terry, Gary and Larry series is here! My recently turned 13 yr old keeps asking me when the next book is coming out and I kept checking your blog and reporting no news at all. My 9 yr thought maybe you died :-O and my 10 year old said it must be a really really interesting book that it’s taking so long to write :-). I’m sorry, they have NO idea how much work goes into writing a book! I write just a tad myself and can NOT imagine writing a whole book in such a short time. But now I know how- work during the night and order pizza and 100,000 other meals to keep one going. 😀 Anyway we all enjoyed the children’s books (used for family story time) and wanted to tell you, you did a great job making the boys “real”

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